Cisco Ups the Ante on Partner Digital Marketing Investments
Hot on the heels of Cisco Marketing Velocity 2019, held in March, Cisco on Tuesday announced that the expansion of its Marketing Velocity brand with four new components: Cisco Marketing Velocity Learning; Cisco Funding for Marketing Velocity; Cisco Marketing Velocity Central; and Cisco Marketing Velocity Activate.
Reiterating industry trends – such as the fact that 61% of B2B transactions begin online and that B2B customers are 60% of the way through the buying process before they reach out to a sales person – Cisco’s Boon Lai, vice president of global partner marketing, points to these trends as drivers for Cisco’s continued investment marketing for partners. And another interesting figure – partners with a strong digital marketing practice realize a 9.5% year-over-year increase revenue. In fact, from a brand perspective, Cisco research found that 40% of Cisco customers would pay, at least, a 35% premium to purchase from a Cisco partner.
“We know that B2B buyers recognize the value of brands and we’re doubling down and investing here with our partners,” Lai said on a conference call. “Partners are more focused on transforming their businesses and they need to do the same when it comes to their marketing practice. Marketing is one of the most untapped and underutilized areas by partners and it’s time to change that.”
With more than 85% of Cisco’s revenue driven through its partners, investing in partner marketing is a win-win for the company and partners. This latest initiative in the Cisco Marketing Velocity platform puts the company’s marketing resources under one brand, and more. Here’s a closer look at the four components on the new unified Marketing Velocity platform:
Cisco Marketing Velocity Learning, formerly known as Marketing Velocity, is an always-on education gateway. Partners will find more than 60 new pieces of on-demand trainings, including a three-module course on customer service and customer experience (CX); and e-books on how to best market Cisco solutions. Also new, and coming soon, will be learning paths based on expertise and topic.
Regarding the company’s live events, Cisco Marketing Velocity will take place in three regions and include topics tailored to the local markets.
“We love seeing how this is growing at a grassroots level — and in countries like Norway they’re creating their own Marketing Velocity live event,” said Lai.
Cisco Funding for Marketing Velocity, formerly joint marketing funds, is centered around Cisco Joint Marketing Funds (JMF) to enable authorized channel partners to market their joint solutions and drive bookings through approved co-marketing initiatives.
Cisco Marketing Velocity Central, formerly Partner Marketing Central, is a full-service marketing portal to enable a partner’s marketing practice. New features in Cisco Marketing Velocity Central include: new campaigns for enterprise networking, data center, collaboration and security; personalized content on the homepage; Cisco partnership logos embedded in campaigns; and coming soon, a new agency marketplace connecting partners to skilled marketing agencies.
There are also advanced campaign analysis capabilities, including campaign tracking and customer contact engagement scoring. The agency marketplace will allow partners to browse and connect with specially chosen demand-generation agencies and order services ranging from paid search, social-media activation and digital event promotion to traditional telemarketing.
Cisco Marketing Velocity Activate is a new component, and is a co-marketing service, which will be in limited release with a select number of partners in the company’s 2020 fiscal year (which started July 28). Marketing Velocity Activate combines data and insight-driven joint planning.
Cisco Marketing Velocity Active has two key elements: insight-driven planning and joint journey orchestration.
“This is very transformative and the next evolution of our partner digital marketing strategy,” said Lai. “It doesn’t recreate the existing offerings available today through Marketing Velocity Central but builds on and focuses on how we execute digital marketing with our more digitally mature partners that have high digital reach.”
“This is where engaging with vendors is really important for their journey,” he said. “They need to invest in this and understand what the processes are for accessing funding from their vendors, they need to invest in people dedicated to their marketing strategy, and they need to have a clear identity for their own brand.”